In hearing so much about 3D printers as the wave of the future in manufacturing, we have come to expect the technology to be paired up with terms such as sustainability, environmentally friendliness, and you also hear ‘less waste’ quite often. Many 3D printing enthusiasts quickly find though that while they feel like the sky is the limit with 3D printing, that can be hampered somewhat by the costs involved with purchasing filament. The plastic waste also has the potential to pile up in your work area if you are busy working on many projects and prototypes.
The ProtoCycler has come along to let you enjoy all the benefits of 3D printing, while removing the expense and waste—offering users their own ‘revolution’ – in creativity. Whether you actually need to make filament or not, it looks like a lot of fun cranking out your own free materials right at home.
Featuring open-source software, it’s promised that ‘if your 3D printer can print with it, ProtoCycler can make it.’
After two years of developing their product, the ProtoCycler team has launched an Indiegogo campaign with the goal of reaching $70,000. They are making good progress so far, and if you are interested in purchasing the ProtoCycler, making a substantial pledge is a great way to obtain one of these machines at a discounted early bird price of $599.
Reaching their goal will allow the ProtoCycler team to finish the design and begin work on manufacturing, as well as fulfillment.
While 3D printing can create wasteful filament with limitations in color, as well as being expensive to indulge in when you are busy creating prototypes like mad, ProtoCycler allows a broad use of color with the use of small, affordable pellets—or recycled waste. It’s a new technology allowing extrusion rates of 10 feet per minute with exponentially more efficiency, and materials that work with any 3D printer. The ProtoCycler is extremely user friendly, requiring the user to push just a couple of buttons before producing and recycling filament. For 3D printing enthusiasts and recycling enthusiasts, this is a win win.
The ProtoCycler comes with its own grinder so that with recycling you are actually making your own valuable filament, saving tons of money and inconvenience. It’s estimated that you can produce a spool of filament for $5 with raw pellets, or at no cost if you are recycling. The recycling filament maker also allows you the independence of controlling and experimenting with your own settings and materials. Consistency is promised, guaranteed by ProtoCycler’s use of MixFlow technology.
Are you using any filament recycling technology currently? Will you be contributing to the ProtoCycler campaign? Tell us about it in the ProtoCycler forum at 3DPB.com.